Which Yogurt is Right for You?
Yogurt and raspberries photo via Shutterstock
With the number of yogurts on the market on the rise, companies are competing for shelf space and profits using clever marketing tactics and lofty promises. The latest? Powerful Yogurt has come out with a product just for men—or “Brogurt,” as Grubstreet cleverly termed it—to compete with, as the company’s website says, “a niche typically dominated by female consumers.”
Powerful’s website not only features bare abs and bullhorns, but it also makes the claim that the yogurt is “specifically designed for a man’s health and nutrition needs.” A quick look at the nutrition facts on this yogurt, however, shows that ounce for ounce, it’s not much different from most other Greek yogurts on the market. One eight-ounce container of plain Powerful Yogurt has 140 calories, zero grams of fat, nine grams of sugar, and 25 grams of protein. Eight ounces of plain Chobani, a popular non-fat, Greek yogurt, has a nearly-identical 140 calories, zero grams of fat, nine grams of sugar, and 23 grams of protein.
With so many brands and marketing ploys out there, it can be hard to see through the hype. But if you look at these four simple components to any yogurt, you can quickly narrow your choices.
Yogurt is a dairy product, and therefore naturally contains sugar in the form of lactose. This is why even plain yogurt has some sugar on the label. But some flavored brands can pack on more than 25 grams of sugar per six ounces, which is almost three teaspoons of added sugar. Instead of buying flavored yogurt, try plain and add your own flavor with fresh fruit, cereal, granola, or honey.
Live and active cultures
Live and active cultures may be responsible for helping to prevent disease and aiding the immune system. Be on the lookout for the Live and Active Cultures Seal, given by the National Yogurt Association to any variety with at least 100 million live and active cultures per gram. Additionally, the yogurt must contain Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus to meet the definition of yogurt according to the Food and Drug Administration.
Full-fat yogurt, such as Fage Greek Total, can pack up to seven grams of saturated fat in seven ounces—that’s 35 percent of the saturated fat the average person needs per day. Since a diet low in saturated fats is important to heart health, choose low-fat or non-fat versions instead.
Protein amounts vary depending on the type of yogurt. For example, regular yogurt has about eight grams of protein per six ounces. Greek yogurt, on the other hand, is strained, resulting in less liquid and higher amounts of protein. Six ounces of Greek yogurt has about 18 grams of protein. Keep in mind that the average person needs 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (Example: A 150-pound woman would need about 54 grams of protein per day.) To put this into perspective, one container of Greek yogurt at 18 grams of protein would provide that 150-pound woman with approximately 33 percent of her protein needs for the day.
What’s your favorite kind of yogurt?